Services for children with disabilities

We provide support for children with disabilities and their families.

You can ask for an assessment of your child's needs and you can also request an assessment of the needs of the people looking after your child, including siblings.

You can do this by either by phoning ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778 or by getting a professional involved with you and your family to refer you to the children with disabilities support team on 01307 473751.

Following assessment of your child's needs, if you are eligible for support a number of options may be available to assist you in meeting the agreed outcomes for your child and family.

These include:

  • outreach or group work
  • care at home and support
  • residential respite care

Through self directed support options exist to allow you to decide how best to arrange the support for your child and family. Visit our organise your own support and care page for more information.

Tim Armstrong, Senior Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

Many families do a sterling job looking after their children who have difficult or complex additional support needs. It's our job to support those families to care for their children so that their children have the same life chances as other children.

Respite care or short breaks are really important services for many families. They provide families with that additional support that allows them to continue caring for their children and it also provides them with a wee bit additional quality of life. Strathmore Centre is one of a range of different services. Staff within the centre also provide respite care for children in their own homes and they also assist parents and carers who want to make their own arrangements for care.

Staff within Strathmore Centre work in partnership with a range of colleagues from health, education, housing and the voluntary sector.

They work hard to develop meaningful relationships with the children and young people to get to know the children and young people so they can identify their needs and that services are provided to meet those needs.

Carer (off camera)

You have to wash your hands John.

Elaine Nevay, Social Care Officer, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

The service started fifteen years ago, that's when I started so I've been around quite a while now. It started off more or less a sitter service if you like and groups and families would come into the centre, mmmh, we also did a bit of family based respite which we would go out and do in the homes of the families so it's come a long way since we started off.

Andrew Hartley, Social Care Officer, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

Well the young people here have a lot of challenges with their physical disabilities, we help them build up resilience help them deal with their day to day issues as well as preparing them for the future that lies ahead for these young people.

We like the Strathmore Centre like a home for home for the young people and that includes their bedrooms which they like to personalise with they can put their own pictures up like their own name on the door, they've got Xbox in their room, television which young people can enjoy with their own use or whilst interacting with other young people.

They've got special sensory equipment in their room which young people enjoy and can have a calming effect for the young person displaying challenging behaviour.

I feel that the job here is very very rewarding, the young people, it's putting a smile on their face and improving the quality of their life a little bit while they are here.

Councillor Glennis Middleton, Angus Council, Convenor of Social Work & Health

When I first became a councillor in 1995, services within Angus were very limited.

We very quickly as a unitary authority identified that there was a specific need in Angus to develop this service and as a result of that, the Strathmore Centre was opened and staff were based there to deliver a service to children with not only physical disabilities but sometimes also with learning disabilities and it has grown apace from there.

Linda Lamond, Team Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

We have a team of social workers here, a team of 3 who are 3 full time posts, who do the assessments, initial assessments when children are referred to us from Intake services.

From then we develop plans which then will involve social care officers, now we have a team of 7 SCO's, some senior and some SCO's who then will work with children and their families in a more intense way.

Elaine Nevay, Social Care Officer, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

Before a child can come in for any sort of day care or for respite, we need to build up a relationship with that child and the family and that doesn't happen overnight, that takes quite a bit of time.

You need to find out as much as you can about the child, you need to find out about their disability, you need to find out what the family thinks the needs of that child are and what you can meet within the respite setting.

Carolyn Arbuthnott, Angus Community Health Partnership

The respite panel is a multi agency team of people from health, social work, education and the voluntary organisations that meet, to, I suppose, and we meet monthly to look at children's assessments and to plan a package of respite care following that. It's really important for the families I work with that decisions I think are very clear and transparent there's a lot of decisions made for them regarding their child's care and I just think what the respite panel has given us is a very clear process and a decision making process almost, that when you feed it back to the families they can see where those decisions have been reached from.

Irene Stove, Education Support Officer, Angus Council, Education Department

Getting it right for every child in Angus works really well, um, we have a shared understanding of the Wellbeing Web for children and My World Triangle where we are looking at the child's wider world.

We are looking at the people that need to help the children and we are looking at how a child grows and develops.

We are looking at the what's known as the SHANARI indicators outcomes for children so that they are Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Responsible, Respected and Included within their community.

We work and assess children together and ensure that we meet the needs as best as possibly can.

Councillor Glennis Middleton, Angus Council, Convenor of Social Work & Health

I think for the families it's essential that respite is offered but also outreach.

We offer services within Angus for Angus children and I think that benefits not only the children and young people but it benefits their families as well and gives them the support that they need sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

Strathmore Centre Parent

The boys had just been diagnosed with ADHD, mmm they had always had problems because they were three months premature, one of them has cerebral palsy and he is a bit deaf as well, but then my husband got ill with cancer and trying to keep everything going, was getting quite difficult.

It was just all too much because I was working full time as well and the GP called a meeting with quite a lot of workers, social workers, health workers, so the social worker at that time stepped in and she came up with a package to learn independent living skills, and meet other kids their age and get interests.

Linda Lamond, Team Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

The outreach service we offer again is supporting children and their families into the social inclusion within their local communities.

We can provide the support initially to help children integrate into groups, that are within the local community, Beavers, Scouts, Cubs, anything that they're interested in - dance groups, you name it.

Initially we would promote that and support them into such clubs until both the child, the family and the organisation are feeling comfortable, we will then step back and allow the child to go to that their self with the organisations supporting them with their families.

Fiona Rennie, Service Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

I think the move into adult life from children's services and school is one of the most worrying times for any young person and their family so it is really vitally important that we do have lots of preparation and early planning including the young person, their families as much as possible in that process.

Linda Lamond, Team Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

The independent living works; a group work programme that we have been running here in the centre now since the refurbishment. We have the equipment, we have the facilities here to be able to help children do more for their selves.

Most families, every family wants their child to be as independent as they can be and this promotes that, this helps them to do that, also eases into more senior service into adult care with the enablement agenda that they have.

Fiona Rennie, Service Manager, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

Many of the children that attend the Strathmore Centre, go there for respite and they will also have a need for respite into adult life, as will their families so one of the important things is that we begin to work very closely with the children's services staff at Strathmore.

We would visit the child there at the Strathmore Centre once the child was familiar with the adult care staff, we would then move on as a next step to introducing the child to their new respite adult facility and that would just be a gradual process because people have to get used to a new environment they have to get used to a new staff team and that's why the early planning and preparation is really important, so that we have the time to do all that and work together in order to support the person well.

Carolyn Arbuthnott, Angus Community Health Partnership

A lot of the young people I work with obviously attend Strathmore Centre and the tales of pizza making and cake making, it's been massive for them, they feel it's much more I think a home now for them to attend. It's much more homely anyway in it's whole outlook now but the young people really are benefitting from the adaptations that have been made the worktops that go up and down and just the increased accessibility for them.

Elaine Nevay, Social Care Officer, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

The key benefits are there one we can provide more respite obviously if we had two beds there was only two children overnight we could have, we could also run day care alongside that which meant other children could come in but not for overnight respite. so now we can have four children in at one point, and the bedrooms through the back. The two bedrooms that we have had added on are larger bedrooms and absolutely brilliant for children with disabilities, children in motorised wheelchairs we have a fantastic tracking system which has been put in - really, really helpful for the children we have so we can provide better, better quality respite as well.

Carolyn Arbuthnott, Angus Community Health Partnership

...and I think as well what we can do is we can use that building as an example of good practice, people are visiting it to see what you can do to a building to increase accessibility.

Councillor Glennis Middleton, Angus Council, Convenor of Social Work & Health

I think what we seek to do is not only to offer the services that are required, to enable these children and young people to be all that they can be and seek to offer them what we would offer our own children in terms of encouraging them to grow and to learn and to be part of the wider community and I think that's what we would all seek.

Strathmore Centre Parent

The boys enjoy going there they're meeting kids their own age and they're doing activities that they enjoy doing, and they're happy so I'm happy.

Elaine Nevay, Social Care Officer, Angus Council, Social Work & Health

The service we provide is a really good high quality service a lot of the children that come to the unit are profound and complex needs and it's all about meeting these needs of the children when they come for respite, also making it a bit of fun as well.

We like to make it a bit of a home from home for them, make them as comfortable as they can be and it's about them enjoying their time on respite as well. We work hard with them and the care plan will be focussed but there's a lot in there for the young people as well and the staff.

Closing credits

Project Co-ordinator:

  • Eileen McArthur

Special thanks to:

  • The staff, young people and children at Strathmore Centre, Forfar
    &
  • Parent, Elaine Buchan

Angus Council, Social Work and Health:

  • Tim Armstrong
  • Andrew Hartley
  • Linda Lamond
  • Elaine Nevay
  • Councillor Glennis Middleton
  • Fiona Rennie

Angus Council, Education Department:

  • Elaine Nevay

Angus Community Health Partnership:

  • Carolyn Arbuthnott

Angus Council Media Team:

  • Duncan Nicoll
  • Lee Dorrington

This DVD is subtitled and you can also get a copy that includes large print or in Braille by calling ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778.